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Hala Strana


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Hala Strana is a summation of Steven R. Smith’s interest in the traditional folk musics of Central and Eastern Europe. By incorporating the melodies, scales, and instrumentation of the village music from areas such as Croatia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland, Steven has pushed his music into yet another new territory.
This is not ethnological preservation, but a starting point. In the same manner from which The Band transformed the sounds of early Americana into their own brand of timeless music, Hala Strana has abstracted these melodies and turned them into something uniquely their own.

Like his previous solo work, Hala Strana’s richly layered sounds are carefully placed but have a spontaneous feel. Instruments like gourd guitar, clay flowerpots, glockenspiel, violin and even bottles find their way into the mix.


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  • Smirnon

    love coming back to this. too bad this is pretty much a closed book for Mr Smith by now. hope he manages to get Fielding released on vinyl tho. this is music that deserves that format

    17 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Smirnon

    my first was These Villages. it worked well

    22 Aug 2014 Reply
  • NoirCafe

    Seems interesting and the album artworks are really great. Any recommendations for a a first listen?

    15 May 2014 Reply
  • Marbleshiver

    Это великолепно!

    2 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Lautreamont

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • oaquard

    Compendium > all

    27 May 2013 Reply
  • Oseg_Ka


    13 Apr 2013 Reply
  • BallerCraig

    Soooooooooo unique sounds.

    4 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Passinghours


    2 Feb 2013 Reply
  • applepoison

    We are a folk-duo called The Hogweed And The Aderyn and a Boutique Press called Wounded Wolf. You can listen the preview from here:

    22 Dec 2012 Reply
  • ciroltio

    please.. someone .. where can i download this amazing stuff?

    13 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Smekermann

    i'm talking about steven r. smith's solo stuff

    17 May 2012 Reply
  • NINlife

    post folkish what are you even saying bro

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • havetofindaname

    menő :)

    12 May 2012 Reply
  • Smekermann

    As far as Balkan folk reccomendations, if you want to hear really traditional stuff you should check out Muzsikas (Blues for Transylvania would be a good starting point, it even has vocals), Toni Iordache (cimbalom soloist backed by folk orchestra, instrumental), Fratii Petreus (Petreus Brothers - folk duo from Maramures), Kalman Balogh (Hungarian cimbalom player), Taraf de Haidouks (their last album, Band of Gypsies 2, with Kocani Orkestar, is pretty damn rocken). If you're interested in non-traditional (but still folk) material, you should check out Farmers Market - their s/t album and Surfin' USSR, The Toids - Unblocked Ears, Trio Mopmu - Torta Bulgarska, Makam - Orient-Occident and Anzix, Fishtank Ensemble - Samurai over Serbia, Eastern Blok - Folk Tales. None of these are as dark, atmospheric or droney as Hala Strana, though.

    9 May 2012 Reply
  • Smekermann

    Also, sonicfrusciante - I'm confused. Are you asking for music that is similar to Hala Strana or specifically Slavic folk music? I'm also not quite sure what this theatrical element is. Hala Strana isn't influenced by Slavic folk, its roots are more in Eastern European/Balkan folk (Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, etc.). You won't really find much music that sounds similar to Hala Strana, either, except maybe more from Steven R. Smith (From Ashes Come, Lineaments, Slate Branches and Cities, if you can find them). The stuff released under his own name isn't really influenced by Balkan music, though, it's more... post-folk-ish Americana, I guess? Maybe?

    9 May 2012 Reply
  • Smekermann

    What's up with the random spike in Pogonishte's plays? Did it get featured on Pitchfork or something?

    9 May 2012 Reply
  • sonicfrusciante

    This music is something I too have been searching for, and my search continues. "Fieldings" could use more vocal samples though, like in "Threshing Floor". I'm also searching more Slavic folk music without the theatrical element, any help is appreciated.

    2 May 2012 Reply
  • Kikilv2

    s/t album is unto perfection. reaches the heights of melancholia.

    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • deondepertences

    perfect fall music. [2]

    4 Jan 2012 Reply
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